After Modi, Mamata Banerjee on three-day visit to Odisha: Now Mamata Eyes Odisha
Bhubaneswar :18-(By Prasant Kumar Bhuyan) – West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee will be on a three-day visit to Odisha from tomorrow. The West Bengal Chief Minister is scheduled to arrive here on Tuesday evening. After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s recently concluded two-day National Executive meet in which party leaders across the country delved into its pan-India poll roadmap, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to hold a public rally here during her three-day Odisha visit beginning tomorrow. If sources are to be believed, she will address a gathering on April 19 in the capital city here, Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik during her visit to the state. The two leaders had a meeting at the Parliament house recently during Patnaik’s visit to New Delhi which had fuelled speculations about the emergence of an anti-BJP front counter the BJP’s poll strategy ahead of the 2019 general elections. Speculation is rife that Banerjee in her address to the rally would train her guns against the BJP and its government at the Centre.Arya Kumar Gyanendra, the state convenor of TMC however said, her tour is “purely personal and has nothing to do with politics”.Gyanendra said, after arriving here on Tuesday evening, Mamata will make a night stay in Puri and pay obeisance to the Holy Trinity the next morning. TMC MLA to a local television news channel. “As per our information she is on a personal visit,” said TMC Odisha unit chief Arya Kumar Gyanendra. Speculations are rife in media circles here over the possibility of Bannerjee having a meeting with her On Wednesday, she will be in Bhubaneswar and attend several programmes. Mamata will return to Kolkata on Thursday morning. Official sources said she would be a State guest during her three-day tour.Asked whether Banerjee would meet Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Gyanendra said, “We have no information in this regard.”Highly placed sources, however, said Banerjee is likely to meet Patnaik during her visit. On April 10, after her arrival; she will proceed to Puri and stay there. On Wednesday morning she will visit Shree Mandir to pay obeisance to Lord Jagannath. She will return to Kolkata on Thursday morning. She has been declared as ‘state guest’ by the state government. “Mamata Banerjee is visiting Odisha to have darshan of Lord Jagannath and meet party MP Sudip Banerjee. She has no other programme,” informed Akhil Giri, both the chief ministers had met at the Parliament House in New Delhi.The proposed meeting of the two visits her ailing party MP Sudip Bandopadhyay who has been admitted to a private hospital here following his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the multi-crore Rose Valley chit fund scam. Banerjee had tweeted that she had met Patnaik and had enquired about his health and there was nothing political in it.“What’s the problem if somebody talks to somebody? So those who have stated that they are going to win 2019 polls they are themselves scared. We haven’t received any letter from her for such talks. She has only written that she is visiting Odisha,” clarified BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb on the speculation about TMC chief meeting Patnaik during her visit to the state. Though TMC has already set up its unit in Bhubaneswar its presence has not turned out to be impressive so far, sources added.